The mighty warriors are starting to stir. Let’s bomb Iran. Let’s inflict sheer terror on Syria. Let’s show them bastards. I am with you every inch of the way they say. Well maybe just a little behind you…. but let’s go get them.
Today you line up on either side of the spectrum. You are either for or against war. There is a little in between but not much. War is like being almost pregnant. I have my own opinion which I will share later.
Nowhere is this more apparent than on the floors of our Congress. It makes great press either way. Especially in an election year playing to the “The Base.” Bring our boys home or let’s finish what we started is the battle cry on either side of the aisle.
War is not fun. War is not romantic or heroic. To be shot at is not to be taken lightly. You wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. Today in Afghanistan some of these troops are coming under fire two and three times a day….day after day. You see someone maimed or with their headless torso laying in your lap. That is not something that goes away with a little Rand R.
Yet we are so quick to stand at a football game with the stealth fighters going overhead while we mouth the National Anthem. We give the guys a first class seat or buy their dinner and drinks when they are in uniform. Yet are you ready to go? Or how about your son or grandson?
I watch the PBS News at night. They project pictures of the armed forces who have died from the previous few days. There are usually 10-12 in number. They are for the most part young. They are from Nowheresville. You don’t see many big cities. You don’t see congressional or presidential kids. You don’t see Wall Street or Big Business kids. You don’t see Halliburton kids. But they are someone’s son or daughter.
Wars are fought at the top with the grunts and sailors as the pawns on the chessboard. I was supposed to drive my Swift Boat in an op one night. It was the brainchild of a commander or captain who flew in that morning from Saigon. He wanted to endanger a vast majority of the boats in our division.
As he laid out the plan many of us were suspect or at least wary. Not of combat but a suicide mission. Tempers got heated and I offered the senior officer the symbolic keys to my boat and said “you drive”. After a period of time things cooled down and I asked him what he was thinking? He spoke and the words rang in my ears. ”It’s the only war we got, buddy!” He left on the four o’clock chopper to make happy hour at Tan So Nhut. Scary is the only word I can conjure up.
My opinion is simple. Sometimes you have to fight a war. You don’t want to but you do. The Iraq war was the creation of Rumsfeld and Cheney. The Secretary of Defense was convinced that he could fight a quick strike battle with a nimble force. He wanted to prove his brilliance and the size of his ego. Halliburton Dick was right behind him. Look what it got us.
They violated every rule of combat and so many poor bastards had to pay with their lives. They were poorly equipped. McNamara did the same thing in Viet Nam and then blithely explained it away in his memoirs as a miscalculation.
My solution is simple. No one can vote to go to war unless they have been there or their kids and grandkids are in the armed services. I don’t care how small the number is, that is the voting requirement. Should we have gone to Afghanistan? Maybe. Iraq? No way. After ten years I think we have done enough.
I respect John McCain like no other. Yet I was blown away when he called for air strikes on Syria and or Iran. Just take a deep breath and really tell me you want us to go into another conflict in the middle East. Didn’t we figure this out the last time around?
Israel is scared and also trigger happy. I really have mixed emotions. Obama is saying we got your back. What would our response be in a non election year? Red herrings like the Gulf of Tonkin and WMD. Is this another one?
We have spent 10 years, over a trillion dollars and thousands of our children trying to bring sanity to this wasteland. The rest of the world has been cheering us on and building their own nations while we battle. Nuke’em? Go right ahead. I think we should sit this one out. Or if not how about I let you be the lead singer.
Ted The Great
Cost of War to date:
Some names….Kenny, Kelly, Lynch, Harrison, Flynn, Wilkins, Mc Carthy, Williamson. Sound familiar don’t they.